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What are the pros and cons of each?

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@soundsoundsound I reckon you'd have to give a little more than this in order to get something from this community. You should try doing some research on the subject first and I am sure this matter was addressed many times before. It is not fair to just throw a question at people and expect them to tell you all about it. You might want to try and put some weight in your first post... –  Justin Huss Apr 8 '11 at 20:19
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2 Answers

The main thing is weight - carbon fibre is lighter.

Another thing to consider if you plan on being really rough with a boom pole is that aluminium will dent fairly easily, so get one with as thick walls to the pipes as possible. Carbon Fibre won't dent, but will crack, you can still use a poll with a dent, once the fibre cracks you either have to replace the cracked section or get a whole new one if you can't find a replacement section.

The difference in weight won't seem drastic on the show floor in a store but will seem gigantic around the 12 minute mark of holding it over your head. Your best bet is to get the most expensive carbon fibre boom you can afford and then treat it with respect, so dents and cracks are not an issue at all.

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@AzimuthAudio, My first ever booming gig (unpaid, naive intern kind of thing) involved a setup where I had to hold a fully extended 15 foot boom out over a 2 camera shot with a running time of EIGHT MINUTES. It was supposed to be a Tarantino type thing, so the actors would walk around in circles and recite these huge swaths of dialogue that they could clearly barely remember. I think we did 7 or 8 takes, maybe more. Luckily, it was near the end of the shoot, so my arms were used to it a bit. But man... I thought they were gonna fall off. Yeah, carbon fibre is great... –  g.a.harry Apr 8 '11 at 21:53
    
Come to think of it... I've only ever been paid to boom once, and that was only $75. –  g.a.harry Apr 8 '11 at 21:54
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The obvious difference is weight.

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